The United Nations Arab-League (AL) joint special representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, had a "frank and substantive" meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday in the Syrian capital of Damascus, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters here Monday, Xinhua reported.
"The meeting was frank and substantive," Nesirky said at a daily news briefing here. "Mr. Brahimi said that President Assad had given a positive reaction to his call for the government to declare a military pause during the Eid Al Adha holiday," which begins on Oct. 26 and lasts four days.
"Mr. Brahimi hopes this appeal for a holiday pause will be heeded by all concerned for the good of the Syrian people," Nesirky said.
Brahimi, the former Algierian foreign minister and a veteran UN official, met with the Syrian president on his second Middle East tour since he was appointed to replace Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general, in September to engage in good offices on Syria, which has been plunged into a political crisis since March 2011.
During his meeting with Brahimi, the Syrian president said that his country is open to all sincere efforts to find a political solution to the crisis on the base of respecting Syria's sovereignty and rejecting foreign intervention, the state-run SANA news agency reported.
During his stay in Damascus, Brahimi also "met and (spoke) with members of the opposition who have welcomed the call for a military pause over the Eid holiday," Nesirky said, adding that the opposition confirmed their interest in the military pause over the holiday by saying, "they would engage with it positively."
"Mr. Brahimi has also held meetings while in Syria with the foreign minister, the director in Syria of the International Committee of the Red Cross, members of the diplomatic corps, members of the UN Country Team and mothers of persons missing in the conflict," Nesirky said.
"His visit to Damascus will end tomorrow." Asked about reports of the presence of foreign fighters in Syria 's neighbors, Nesirky said that "the secretary-general remains concerned about the spillover of the fighting in Syria to other countries in the region. He is concerned both about the suffering of the Syrian people and the possible repercussions for neighboring countries."